There’s nothing quite like a long haul flight to indulge in thought and contemplate decisions made.
In seven hours I land in the USA and after a few days, set off on the biggest adventure I have ever decided to go on, in a country I know very little about other than what I have perceived from the media, stories and the few well-traveled yanks I have met outside of the states.
Last week, I asked a class of ten year old school children what came to mind when they thought about the USA. The answers were, if not predictable, reassuring for the media. On and at the top of the list of answers were; hot dogs, Disneyland, the Empire State Building and oddly, casinos. So, if you would like to know what great expectations our children harbour from the land of the free, there you have it.
Over the course of an hour, the class were keen to know more. They asked questions such as, Where would I pooh? What would I eat? Where would I sleep? Was I taking waterproof trousers? What drugs would I be taking? Would I see camels in the dessert? What would I do if an overly friendly and persistent monkey won’t leave me alone? One well-read young man forgot to add a question mark and just informed me that recently, an ice truck driver picked up a hitchhiker who turned out to be a serial killer, which was bad.
Worryingly, I’m rocking the Dexter look
I answered as honestly as I could. After all, no question is a silly question. There are no camels in the American desert, monkeys haven’t really set up shop there either, don’t mess around with drugs and hopefully not in my pants.
Macaques, also rocking the Dexter look, but they’ve probably not even seen the show
The class were a delight. They considered possible scenarios, asked about relevant issues, found secondary uses for some of my kit, commented on problematic logistics, queried some environmental issues after I talked about World Land Trust and even did some cougar impressions. Regarding my planning, I think I have been on the right track and with the confidence instilled by a group of ten year olds, I’m about to find out.
Plane flights cause various emotions in people; lust for the future, sadness or relief on a return journey, frustration and discomfort, liberation, excitement, freedom, apprehension and fear. For the whole of the next seven hours, and probably for the next seven months, I’ll feel all of them.
After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, I’m now mainly in Malawi with time each year in Europe/UK.
Go Untamed Safaris was set up, but then volatile poitics in 2019 and Covid in 2020 hit.
The dust is still settling.